SS Prinz Adalbert

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History
Name:
  • Prinz Adalbert (1902-1914)
  • Prince (1914-1916)
  • Princetown (1916-1917)
  • Alésia (1917)
Owner:
Builder: Bremer Vulkan Schiffbau & Machinen Fabrik, Bremen-Vegesack
Yard number: 452
Launched: 21 August 1902
Fate: Sunk on 6 September 1917
General characteristics
Displacement:
Length: 403.3 ft (122.9 m)
Beam: 49.2 ft (15.0 m)
Depth: 27.1 ft (8.3 m)
Propulsion:
  • Quadruple expansion 8-cylinder engine
  • Twin screws
Speed: 13 kn (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Capacity:
  • 60 first class passengers
  • 1,200 third class passengers

SS Prinz Adalbert, was a German ocean liner of the Hamburg America Line (Hapag), ordered as one of five Prince-class vessels for their newly established service to the East Coast of South America.[1] She was built by Bremer Vulkan Schiffbau & Machinen Fabrik, Bremen-Vegesack and launched on 21 August 1902.[2] She sailed from Hamburg on her maiden voyage to Brazil on 20 January 1903, and three years later was in service between Genoa and Buenos Aires.[1] Later the liner moved to North Atlantic services.

In 1912, the Prinz Adalbert was one of several ships to sight the iceberg suspected of sinking RMS Titanic.[3]

On the declaration of War in August 1914, Prinz Adalbert was seized by Britain while lying in port at Falmouth, Cornwall.[4] She was requisitioned by the Admiralty, but formally condemned by the Prize Court only in March 2016. The circumstances had been disputed as she had entered Falmouth after hearing of the outbreak of war between Germany and France while on a normal commercial voyage from Philadelphia to Hamburg, but before the declaration by the UK of war with Germany. Despite being advised to leave Falmouth, the master chose to remain.[5] The ship was commissioned as the accommodation ship Prince at Invergordon on 17 December 1914 and later as the repair ship Princetown.[6]

After being paid off on 20 October 1916 and disposed of for sale on 23 December 1916,[6] the ship was sold at auction in a damaged state to Compagnie de Navigation Sud Atlantique of Marseille on 17 January 1917, reconditioned in England and renamed Alésia.[7][8] On 5 September 1917 she was bound for Bordeaux from Cardiff to enter service to South America, when she was torpedoed and damaged in the Atlantic Ocean 40 nautical miles (74 km) northwest of Ushant, Finistère, France by the Imperial German Navy submarine SM UC-69.[8][9] The damaged ship was torpedoed again and sunk on 6 September by the German submarine SM UC-50 off Ushant in position 48°49'N 5°00'W.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bonsor, N.R.P. (1983). South Atlantic Seaway : an illustrated history of the passenger lines and liners from Europe to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Jersey Channel Islands: Brookside Publications. pp. 344–345, 350. ISBN 0-905824-06-7.
  2. ^ "Prinz Adalbert : Hamburg-America Line". Titanicinquiry.org. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  3. ^ "'Titanic iceberg' photo to be auctioned". BBC News. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Fate of Merchantmen". The Times (40597). London. 7 August 1914. p. 6.
  5. ^ "The Prize Court: Two German liners condemned". The Times (41123). London. 24 March 1916. p. 3.
  6. ^ a b Warlow, Ben (2000). Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy: being a list of the static ships and establishments of the Royal Navy (2nd ed.). Liskeard: Maritime Books. ISBN 0907771734.
  7. ^ "Prize Liner Sold". The Times (41379). London. 18 January 1917. p. 6.
  8. ^ a b c Bonsor, N.R.P. (1983). South Atlantic Seaway : an illustrated history of the passenger lines and liners from Europe to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Jersey Channel Islands: Brookside Publications. pp. 405, 413. ISBN 0-905824-06-7.
  9. ^ a b "Alesia". Uboat.net. Retrieved 17 December 2012.

External links[edit]